There's a lot to love about the iPad 2's Smart Cover, from the fashionable colors to the multifunctional design to its magnetic personality. Unfortunately, the flappy front piece leaves your iPad's backside unprotected. For those of us who tend to drop our magical and revolutionary (yet not anti-gravity) devices, that's code for trouble.
We last rounded up the Smart Cover-compatible case range in June, and not long after that post appeared the fine folks at iFrogz sent over the BackBone rear cover accessory. I've been using the cover for several weeks, and it does the job of protecting the iPad while remaining mostly unobtrusive and light.
Like most of the products in this category, the BackBone's form closely tracks its function. It consists of a polycarbonate shell that snaps easily yet firmly onto the iPad's back, covering the corners completely along with the right/bottom edge (in portrait or landscape 'natural' orientation) while leaving the left/top edge clear for the Smart Cover's magnetic latch.
There are cutouts for the microphone, headphone port, sleep switch and dock port, along with a gridded section for the speaker. The cover is only a few mils thick (in matching colors to Apple's cover), yet it's tough -- I accidentally dropped my iPad about a foot onto a stone floor, corner first, and not a mark on it. The cover has a pleasant, smooth feel that's still got some grip to it.
You can get the cover direct from iFrogz for US$34.99, and possibly cheaper at retail. If you're looking for a simple layer of protection, it's a good option.
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